Molson Coors Beverage Co. launches new non-carbonated product

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Chicago-based Molson Coors houses much of its administrative support in Milwaukee.

Molson Coors Beverage Co. continues its exploration into non-beer categories with the planned launch of Happy Thursday, a flavored spiked refresher.

Chicago-based Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP) houses much of its administrative support in Milwaukee. Milwaukee is also the birthplace of one of Molson Coors’ core brands, Miller Lite. Most recently, the global beverage maker launched a new acceleration strategic plan.

Happy. Thursday will launch nationally in March 2024. The spiked refresher is 4.4% alcohol-by-volume and will launch in four flavors — strawberry, black cherry, pineapple starfruit and mango passionfruit. It will be sold in 12-pack variety packs.

The spiked refresher is non-carbonated alcoholic beverage, which the company believes is the first-of-its-kind product to launch nationally.

This product launch coincides with one of Molson Coors’ key strategic pillars, to scale and expand in “beyond beer.” Molson Coors classifies beyond beer into three areas of flavor, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. Molson Coors chief commercial officer for the Americas Michelle St. Jacques said at the company’s strategy day in New York City that Molson Coors expects half of its above-premium revenue growth to come from beyond beer.

“We believe Happy Thursday is everything these consumers are looking for in a spiked refresher: they’re smooth, bubble-free, flavorful and, of course, refreshing,” Molson Coors senior director for marketing innovation Amanda Devore said in the company’s blog. “The bold and vibrant packaging is perfect for sharing on social media, and we can’t wait for Happy Thursday to hit shelves.”

The name Happy Thursday comes from what Molson Coors calls the “unofficial start of the weekend.” The company hopes Happy Thursday will appeal to younger legal-aged drinkers.

The alcoholic refresher category is a relatively new beverage to come into the market. Devore added that Molson Coors hopes to translate some of the success of hard seltzers several years prior into this category.

“I think there are similarities with the way hard seltzers capitalized on a trend outside of alcohol. They really took off because consumers were drinking more flavored seltzer water. I think we have the same opportunity here,” she said in the blog.

Margaret Naczek, Milwaukee Business Journal

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